XS Old Crustacean - Rogue Ales
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Ratings: 1,102 | Reviews: 688 | Display Reviews Only:
Reviews by kkipple:
4.03/5 rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 2.5
*1999 vintage drunk March 2007
This seriously Old Crustacean was lovingly decanted by our waiter from an old-school 7oz bottle into a brandy snifter at Gramercy Tavern in New York. The bottle was a twist-off, oddly enough.
The pour generated absolutely no head. In truth, this beer was flat. But that's ok, because in this case I'm not sure carbonation would have added much to the experience. The trick is to think of this as more an after-dinner liqueur than a beer. Once you get your head around that, you'll do fine.
The Old Crusty itself is a hazy, opaque, burnt-amber color. The smell is quite deep; huge ancient malt aroma buries nearly everything in its path. Rough caramel notes, some significant alcohol harshness, and brown sugar show up. Possibly some licorice; and there's certainly more than a hint of oxidation going on here. A pity, but it doesn't overwhelm the beer.
The flavor isn't much of a surprise - loads of rich, mildly oxidized malt, sinister alcohol, singed caramel, and muted but still bitter grapefruit hops all come forth and coat my mouth. It's all blended quite well after 8 years. Rather reminiscent of an aged Old Foghorn, but maltier and without the harsh alcohol bite in the flavor.
Mouthfeel is again flat, but slick and syrupy and coating. A sipper to be sure, it took me over a half hour to finish my little glass.
I was incredibly impressed at every aspect of Gramercy Tavern, but that's another review entirely. This beer was a fine end to a superb dinner, and one that I savored - who knows where I'll get another one of these? Huge thanks to Kevin Garry for acquiring this rarity. It was one of the better beer "experiences" I've had.
*1995 vintage drunk March 2008
Lucky to try this from the puny bottle my buddy Jim dug out of his cellar. Looks the same and smells the same as my previous review. Flat. Very oxidized, think drinking sherry out of a cardboard box. Sweet, ancient. More academic than anything else, I'm afraid it's past the prime of life. Still a fine example of an aged beer.
Serving type: bottle
03-16-2007 02:00:55 | More by kkipple
More User Reviews:
3.25/5 rDev -19%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3
Appearance - Pours a hazy, rustic orange with a sandstone colored finger width head. Fair retention, resulting in a thin layer of surface suds.
Smell - Caramel and some notes of copper. hmm.
Taste - Flavors upfront are good; caramel and touches of coffee, along with some light fruitiness... but then high leafy bitterness and metallic twang (like sucking on a penny) dominate the finish and aftertaste which, having drank Old Crustacean many a-times on tap, doesn't seem to fit what I recall.
Mouthfeel - Full in body with low carbonation and light creaminess. Goes down smooth at first, but the astringent finish makes it hard to drink sip after sip.
Overall - Ya know, I found this '12 bottle at a store a few months ago, and then later that day had the '14 on tap. It was pure heaven on tap; perhaps the greatest barleywine I've ever had... and despite this I decided I'd wait to review the '12 bottle. I should've reviewed the '14. This is fair, but the flaws are evident. Whether from improper storage or what, it's not the Old Crusty I'm used to drinking. Too much bitter, metallic astringency in the finish to think this was the intent after 2 years of aging. '14 probably would've netted a 4.5 score; this '12 is certainly not up to par, as you can see by the score. future review for sure, because I've had Old Crusty too many times in the past to know this is a fluke.
Serving type: bottle
06-25-2014 07:13:27 | More by TheSixthRing
4.48/5 rDev +11.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5
Served on-tap in downtown Janesville, WI. This pours a medium brown color with a slight head. The aroma is slight malty and sweet. The taste is sweet and boozy. Great taste of caramel malts and smooth finish. Rather filling beer and a nice find to try on-tap. Very nicely made.
Serving type: on-tap
05-11-2014 20:56:58 | More by Lemke10
XS Old Crustacean from Rogue Ales
90 out of 100 based on 1,102 ratings.